Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Blog #13: Why 'Voyager' Failed
I was not overly excited in 1994 when Paramount made it's initial announcement about the newest Star Trek series that would be taking the place of Star Trek: The Next Generation on the television airwaves. First off I wanted them to make an 8th season of TNG because season 7 was a poor send off to that series. Also the initial premise didn't work for me: 'Star Trek The Original Series' meets 'Lost In Space'. A Federation starship becomes stranded in the distant 'Delta Quadrant', cut off from Starfleet this group of Officers must work together with a group of 'Maquis' terrorists to make the 80 year journey back home. All new aliens, all new enemies, a true exploration of the unknown. Sadly this concept was doomed to fail in my books.
Why have the series take place in the 'Delta Quadrant'?:
I mean why? Theres plenty of corners of the Alpha Quadrant that haven't been explored. Having them so far away from the Federation just created problems for the writers and the cast. Like adding new crew members. On such a small ship with a small crew number and being cut-off from the Federation your not going to get new officers coming on board. But yet they did it anyway on that show from time to time. "Here's Ensign Pointy Ears. He's going to be hanging out with the regular cast. Oh he's been on the ship this whole time, you just didn't see him before now". If the series had taken place in the Alpha Quadrant they could have brought on new crew-mates from time to time and have it make sense that we didn't see them before. Also Voyager would need routine maintenance wouldn't it? Remember the TNG episode from the 6th season where the Enterprise had to go through a special 'sweep' to rid it of dangerous radiation that develops over time. Wouldn't the Voyager crew have been killed from that same radiation?
Also if they are so far away and it will take 80 years to get back home why are they stopping to explore planets and space stuff? Every second episode they are stopping to explore so that would just add years on to their journey wouldn't it? It made no sense for them to do this, the only reason they should stop for anything is for supplies and to find a quicker way home.
And in the Alpha Quadrant it made sense that a lot of alien races had warp drive and have 'Universal Translators' since many of the big powers of the Alpha Quadrant probably had previous contact with those races. But 80 million light years away these 'new' races the writers came up with had warp drive, could speak with the Voyager crew and so on. To me this made no sense. Is warp drive a natural state of evolution in humanoid species? For example if the Kazon stole their ships and tech from that other race how could they maintain them, and yet not be able to create a replicator?
Speaking of 'Replicators' why is it that the Voyager crew had to conserve their replicator usage? I never remember this being an issue on the other Trek series. Guess the writers needed to justify the character Neelix. Because other than being the chef he serves no other purpose as far as I am concerned.
Peter David's novel series 'Star Trek: New Frontier' is what Voyager should have been. It was a fascinating concept and you should check out the write-up on Wikipedia.
Anywho that ends Part I of the discussion on Why Voyager Failed. See you next time!